It’s hardly news that the holiday season means eating a lot of food.

As a result, weight gain is generally seen as an inevitable part of the festivities, and a new study suggests that this year, Americans can expect to gain 8lbs.

The fourth annual “Writing Off the End of the Year” survey explored the eating habits of 2,000 Americans who celebrate the winter holiday. The poll was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Herbalife Nutrition.

Holiday weight gain

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The inevitable holiday “food coma”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that few could resist overindulging during the festive season, even if they were breaking a diet to do so. The average person expects to gain about eight pounds throughout the holiday season.

This is slightly more than in previous years. Last year, respondents expected to gain seven pounds, up from six extra pounds in 2019 and 2018.

For 40% of respondents, this weight gain will be in addition to weight they’ve gained during the pandemic. Of those, the average respondent has gained a pound more than the “quarantine 15” since March 2020.

Even so, most of the respondents claim not to worry about this extra weight gain. 90% plan on enjoying the holiday season without worrying about maintaining a healthy diet. This is probably due to the stress of the pandemic, with two in three people saying that they feel they “deserve” more treats this year.

In this year’s survey, 48% of Americans admitted they’ve eaten so much during a holiday season that they’ve had to undo a button on their pants or loosen their belt.

Another 45% have eaten more than one of the same meals in a day (i.e. multiple lunches or dinners). Others have eaten until they feel sick, unwell, or full to bursting — or they’ve deliberately worn stretchy clothes to accommodate overeating (both 39%).

holiday weight

“Holiday meals and festive celebrations don’t have to destroy your healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Kent Bradley, chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife Nutrition, in a statement. “By focusing on eating proteins over carbs, slowing down your eating pace and making sure you don’t go to the party hungry, you can enjoy the party and minimize the weight gain.”

It’s common to postpone attempts to be healthy until after the holiday season is over. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) are even actively delaying their attempts to be healthy until after the holidays. Of those, 56 percent begin postponing their efforts by mid-November. In 2020, 56 percent of Americans admitted to postponing attempts to be healthy, compared to 41 percent the year before.

So, when do people return to their healthy lifestyle? Many will pick healthy habits back up after New Year’s. Thirty-nine percent plan to make a New Year’s resolution for 2022, with the top goal being exercising more (27%).

Eating healthier (25%) and focusing on self-care (22%) are the other of the top three 2022 resolutions. These top 3 resolutions mirror were the same last year.

“The best and most successful New Year’s health resolutions combine nutritious, balanced diets and exercise, have specific and achievable goals, and activate a community of like-minded supportive people,” adds Bradley.

We concur, here at Herculean Strength. Last year, we ran our Resolution package, which proved to be a massive hit with customers looking to make a change for the better after all that indulgence.

This year, we’ll be running Resolution 2022, an enhanced version of the packaged with new, exclusive content. Watch this space!

Looking to make a New Year’s resolution that will last? We’ve got you covered


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In addition, you’ll also receive an amazing cookbook with dieting advice to help make sure you’re eating the best foods to fuel your transformation.


Don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] for personalized coaching and a client questionnaire if you’d like DEDICATED tailor-made personal training on strength training, building muscle, losing fat, developing athleticism, and more — all to your liking, lifestyle, habits, and taste!

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